The Bend Chamber and Kôr Community Land Trust are excited to announce that from a pool of 35 employer partners, these four have had employees selected to be homebuyers in the under-construction Poplar Community: St. Charles Health System, Sage Window Cleaning, Mt. Bachelor, and Deschutes County.
“From a 911 call taker at Deschutes County to the operating room secretary at St. Charles, the selected homebuyers are essential workers in our community,” shared Jackie Keogh, Kôr Community Land Trust Executive Director. “We are pleased to build another sustainable, equitable community to ensure more folks can afford to live where they work.”
Qualified, first-time homebuyers were encouraged to apply for the homeownership opportunity in this workforce housing pilot project. Employees of the employer partners received two preference points in the public lottery selection process.
The purpose of the pilot is to demonstrate that employers can support a path to homeownership for their employees. As part of the proof-of-concept, the Bend Chamber is sponsoring four of the seven new homes in the Poplar development, thanks to financial support from Providence Health Plan and specific Bend Chamber members. The sponsorship helps support the difference between the cost to build these homes and what income-qualified homebuyers can afford.
The Poplar Community project includes seven 3-bedroom, 2-bath homes designed to net-zero energy standards for households earning equal to or less than 80% of Area Median Income. These homes, designed by Ten Over Studio and constructed by Solaire Homebuilders, are located on Kôr land and retain a deed restriction that ensures each subsequent home resale will preference employees of qualified employer partners, extending this benefit to the Bend workforce in perpetuity.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Poplar Community was held on May 1, 2023, and construction of the seven units is expected to be completed by early 2024.
As of June 1, Kor Community Land Trust has rebranded to RootedHomes. Over the past two years, the organization has not only expanded the number of net-zero homes it is building in Central Oregon, but also centered the needs of its homebuyers in its community designs and organizational leadership. Feedback from our homebuyers shaped us into the non-profit organization we are today. In working with our homebuyer focus groups over the past six months, we heard that RootedHomes better connects the community to the intentionality of our brand and our value of sustainable building. Our homes root homebuyers to the Central Oregon community, and now our brand does too.
Rooted Homes’ Mission
RootedHomes provides environmentally sustainable and permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for those who contribute to the fabric of the Central Oregon economy and community.
Bend Chamber’s Mission
Create an environment where businesses, their employees and our community excel together through collaboration, advocacy, resources and leadership to meet Bend’s business challenges.